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Webstore Offers eBay Alternative for Frustrated Sellers

A look at the marketplace that's competing for eBay's spot

Comments from seasoned eBay sellers who are frustrated with higher fees and security risks reveal that an eBay alternative is on the minds of many.

Some of these sellers are switching to other marketplaces in hopes buyers will follow.

In response, developers have built alternative online auction sites to fulfill the growing need for an affordable marketplace. One such place is Webstore.com, a platform recently ranked second—just behind eBay—by TopTenReviews.com for online auction sites.

Here’s a snapshot of this eBay alternative that’s vying for the No.1 spot.

The basics

Webstore began in 2007 after the founders were concerned with increasing fees and security risks from other online auction sites, says Mike Snyder, Webstore’s customer service manager.

Webstore “is one of the only [auction sites] we reviewed that offers the ability to buy and sell online without paying user fees”

As a result, they created the platform to be completely free to its users, with the exception of payment processing fees, which are unavoidable.

The marketplace makes up the revenue by placing ads on its pages. This is something even eBay does, though it also charges fees to its members.

Webstore “is one of the only [auction sites] we reviewed that offers the ability to buy and sell online without paying user fees,” reviewers at TopTenReviews say.

The eBay alternative includes a lot of features similar other online auction sites. Registration is easy and, as with any site, getting familiar with the terrain takes just a little browsing and testing. Plus, you can set up a virtual store on the marketplace at no cost.

From the home page, you can browse for current auctions by category or by doing a search for something more specific. If you want to research items that have been sold, you must first be a member to access this function, Snyder says.

Listing an item for sale is pretty straightforward, especially if you’re accustomed to listing on auction sites similar to eBay. You can upload up to four images and set auction, buy it now and reserve prices, plus add the option for buyers to make offers. Webstore offers a video tutorial to make listing easy, or refer to the “Help” links for more information.

While Webstore offers feedback services for its members and rewards its Top Rated Sellers, the marketplace charges a $10 optional fee to verify your identity. The idea behind this is that it increases your reliability as a buyer and seller. It also qualifies you to become a Top Rated Seller.

Webstore reports it has been seeing an influx of new members. Snyder contributes part of this to TopTenReviews, in addition to increasing eBay fees and the closure of other platforms

“Our Top Rated Seller’s program highlights sellers who have met our strict minimum requirements such as 95 percent positive ratings from a large variety of unique buyers,” Snyder says. “These sellers are featured on our site, as well as in other forms of marketing and social media.”

An evolving marketplace

Webstore reports it has been seeing an influx of new members recently. Snyder contributes part of this to TopTenReviews, in addition to increasing eBay fees and the closure of other platforms, like Yardsellr.

With more than 130,000 registered members and 900,000 active auctions in more than 13,000 categories, the marketplace receives a fair share of community activity. As its popularity rises, Webstore modifies its standards and adds features to improve member satisfaction.

“We are always trying to make Webstore.com better for both buyers and sellers, and many of the new features we implement on the site are based solely on feedback from our members,” Snyder adds.

Some of the new features developed in the past year based on customer feedback include the ability to sort items by bids or by number of watchers, and the ability to quickly edit quantities and prices in a listing, he says. Webstore also added some new categories based on member suggestions, including an extensive Disneyana category in the collectibles section.

‘Open to creating new categories’

Snyder reports the collectibles category is one of the more popular sections on the site. The eBay alternative also has high sales in the coins, crafts, jewelry and clothing sections.

“The best part about Webstore for new sellers is that we are very open to creating new categories to help make it easier for items to be seen”

But the platform prides itself on being able to evolve to meet their members’ needs, Snyder adds. In the early days, Webstore started with only a few categories to help the community, but the marketplace expanded, and so did the number of categories.

“The best part about Webstore for new sellers is that we are very open to creating new categories to help make it easier for items to be seen,” Snyder notes.

And regardless of what the community sells, Webstore is ready to help its members sell everything from vintage to brand new gadgets, and everything in between.

As new members come to Webstore, the ability to garner more advertisers increases, which, again, is the foundation that allows the marketplace to remain fee-free to its sellers. Webstore also launched an “aggressive marketing campaign” to help spread the word about the marketplace.

“However, as a free site, our best weapon in this war is simply word-of-mouth,” Snyder adds.

Site ready to be No. 1

“Too often in today’s ecommerce world you are sent on a wild goose chase of FAQs looking for the answer you need,” Snyder continues.

“There comes a time when No. 1 fades and No. 2 steps up to take over. Webstore is ready for that day to come”

But Webstore is different from more popular auction sites, not only because it’s fee-free, but because it can provide more individualized customer support, he says.

For any online auction site competing against the eBay giant, it’s a tricky catch-22. All the right benefits may outweigh eBay, but getting the fanfare and keeping the buyers interested requires perhaps a lot of marketing and a slow simmer of time.

Snyder thinks Webstore’s time is near. He compares it to the football analogy that everyone’s favorite player is the backup quarterback. And Webstore is that backup quarterback, he says.

As other auction sites raise prices and add new fees, sellers will look elsewhere for a new platform. Now that TopTenReviews has placed Webstore in second place behind eBay and other marketplaces are closing shop, Webstore is warmed up for the game.

“There comes a time when No. 1 fades and No. 2 steps up to take over,” Snyder says. “Webstore is ready for that day to come.”

About the author

Sarah Brown
Sarah Brown is a freelance writer who writes about e-commerce and small businesses. She recently graduated from Chico State with a journalism degree and is also a budding online entrepreneur, having launched two Web businesses and her own line of handmade products. Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

  • Ken Brooks

    6 years in business and this is the first I have heard of webstore. Not much advertising or search engine placement. Risky moving to a platform that no one knows about.

    • it’s pretty good site, for real. i havent actually sold anything there yet, but i think if more people know about it, it would really take off. it has been number 2 behind ebay for 3 years in a row and some people on there sell a lot. plus you have a free store front…and NO FEES!!! lol

  • R G

    Okanjo is another alternative. (I am sad to see yardsellr go, actually sold a few things there cause they knew how to market). No sales from Webstore in two months. Their advertisers (as with Ebay…and stock/shares owners) probably determine who gets to make a profit. If Heritage is in charge of comics on Ebay that is why stuff will be obsured there. Not saying this is a fact. I merely suspect it. I will give Amazon, Okanjo, Ebay and Webstore and 2-3 other places a chance and then will write a real article about it.

  • i think webstore would be awesome if eveybody just knew about it. your protected just like ebay if u use paypal or google wallet as your payment methods. i think all the yardsaler peeps will eventually go there because it’s free. ebay is killing me. i pay as much as i make in fees!!! i love ebay but i cant keep paying the fees like that….seriously what’s the point? kinda like going to a job just to have gas money…know what i mean? anybody know anywhere else that is similar to ebay but less expensive for us sellers?

    • grammym18@msn.com

      Yes, it’s called onlineauction.com. They only charge $8 a month and that gives you a bunch of listings and a free store. They don’t charge any other fees. It was started by an angry ex-ebayer about 8-10 yrs ago. Check them out. If you do decide to become a member use the referral code of 21179AAA.

  • It is a good site, and sellers can finally see profit, HOW EVER!! webstore is not out there, no one knows that it even exist..not even a facebook ad, just a page, ads & commercials are greatly needed! i have alot of items listed that on ebay will sell in a couple of days, including designer handbags.. here i get a few views and nothing else and countless relistings… not sure if i should hold on or go back to ebay… this is how i make living, i left ebay because of the high fees…. but now i’m left with no choice but to return to ebay! webstore you need to put yourself out there!!

  • Try goflystar.com. They charge $6.75 per month, no other fees, and you can list as many items as you want. You also have the option to list for $0.85 per item, if you sell one or two items, once in a while.



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